Observations & Critique: “The VF-25 just doesn’t have enough pylons.”
Note, this is a VERSION 1 accessory and is not compatible with ‘renewal’ version VF-25 toys (which are vastly superior to these original offerings). The ‘renewal version’ Tornado Parts come with the ‘powered weapons’ without requiring you to purchase them separately. The packaging is Tamashii’s standard website exclusive packaging, a brown box with a brief description housing the true box wrapped in tissue paper within. The actual box is black and white with some pictures of the fully decked out toy. What’s inside?
1) 4x Reaction Missiles
2) 2x Missile Pylons
3) 4x Wingtip booster extensions
4) 2x Reaction Missile brackets for Tornado Parts
5) 2x Reaction Missile brackets for Armor Parts
Released in October 2010, I paid about 2,625Yen for my set which isn’t a huge amount of money but it’s far from being cheap also. I don’t know if a lot of people are going to hunt this down especially when one considers that the Macross Frontier movies (in which I suppose these appear) do not have the same sized audience as the Macross Frontier show. That said, I’m sure there are some torrents out there for those of you who want to see this in action and it may just convince you that your Tornado DX VF-25F is naked without them.
The painted on detail is better than average and something Bandai has continually done well with their newer Macross releases. Unfortunately I don’t have line art to give you some good comparisons so a few photos will have to suffice. Since I haven’t seen the movie I can’t say for sure but I’d guess the red missile clusters don’t do a very good job simulating their movie appearance… but they are in stowed at such an angle it’s unlikely anyone would ever be looking directly at them.
The Tornado DX was my favorite version 1 DX VF-25 toy because the attachments helped hide the weaknesses of VF-25 toy. The parts held tightly to the toy so it was still fun to handle (unlike the version 1 super or armor parts). You might have been afraid that adding more attachments might make the toy feel sloppy but Bandai did an excellent job engineering the Powered Weapons to stay snug on the toy. Even fully decked out the Tornado DX VF-25F in fighter mode can still be handled and “whooshed” around your desk. Even the reaction missiles and their brackets attached firmly to both the armored VF-25 and the Tornado toy.
My set didn’t come with a single build or durability issue and I haven’t heard many other complaints from other owners. Some care should be taking with the missile bay pylon doors as they do seem to have thin hinges.
This accessory had very limited appeal (precisely why it was a website exclusive) and that appeal was further reduced with the advent of Bandai’s ‘renewal’ line of VF-25 toys. Obviously, if you have the funds, you should not consider purchasing anything in the V1 line unless you are a true completionist. If you must collect version 1 toys for some reason, I liked this accessory when combined with the Tornado parts. I felt it made an exceptional display piece on my DX Display Stand as the Tornado parts helped conceal numerous weaknesses of the V1 toy in fighter mode (GERWALK mode was essentially useless and Tornado parts look somewhat unnatural on battroid mode toys). Hunting down the V1 VF-25F, the Tamashii exclusive Tornado Parts (or, alternatively, the VF-25F + Tornado Parts gift-set), and the Tamashii exclusive could be a pain. Fortunately, for fans of the toys, the last Version 1 VF-25 toy was Michel’s VF-25G with Tornado and Powered Weapons.
Note: This review was updated on May 5, 2015 to include information about ‘renewal’ releases.